can a ddr3 motherboard support ddr4

Can A DDR3 Motherboard Support DDR4? Answered!

You realised it’s high time you upgrade your RAM to a DDR4. And your computer currently has a DDR3 motherboard. You’re wondering if you can just upgrade the RAM without additional replacements.

So, can a DDR3 motherboard support DDR4?

DDR3 motherboard can’t support DDR4. To elaborate, DDR4 RAM is the subsequent generation of DDR3 memory. And DDR4 has 44 more pins than DDR3 and the notch is in a different place.  Hence, DDR3 motherboards cannot accommodate DDR4 in the memory slot. There are a few reasons behind the incompatibility.

Do you think you got to know enough? Well, think again. Here, we will explain the reasons why a DDR3 motherboard is incompatible with DDR4. We also have some suggestions on how you can use the 2 parts separately.

If you want to know more, follow along with us through the article.

Why DDR3 Motherboard Is Incompatible With DDR4

So what makes a DDR3 motherboard incompatible with DDR4?

First of all, the pin positions of the DDR3 motherboard do not match with the DDR4 ram. On top of that, the DDR3 motherboard has an outdated arrangement which makes the DDR4 ram completely incompatible.

Now, let’s take a deep dive into the technical aspects.

DDR3 Motherboard Is Physically Incompatible

First of all, DDR3 motherboards have designated RAM slots only for DDR3. Why? Because DDR4 came after DDR3 so the motherboard never had the design, to begin with. So, a DDR4 won’t physically fit in a DDR3 motherboard.  

Let us explain more about the physical incompatibility.

Take a look at the picture- 


The arrows point to the notch for each generation of DDR. They are in a different place as you can see. The slots are designed to exactly fit in the notch.

If you’re wanting to use DDR3 with a Ryzen processor, DDR3 RAM is obsolete as well.

Hence, the difference in notch design is why a DDR3 motherboard can’t physically accommodate a DDR4.

DDR3 Motherboard Is Outdated

As the name suggests, the motherboard houses various components of an efficient computer. This includes memory slots, CPU slots, motherboard power connectors, and many more.

DDR3 Motherboard

As time went by since 2007, DDR3 motherboards now can no longer support the upgraded components. 

The DDR3 motherboards have become completely technologically obsolete.

The result is why you can’t get a DDR3 motherboard to support DDR4 RAM memory. 

Now you know, your motherboard needs an upgrade from DDR3 along with a memory card upgrade.

Both DDR4 and DDR4 motherboards have many updated features.

Let’s start with DDR4.

The Differences Between DDR3 And DDR4

Now, what’s the deal with DDR3 and DDR4?

As we stated before, DDR4 is a subsequent generation of DDR3. There are some differences that come with the upgrade like physical and technological differences.

Differences Between DDR3 And DDR4

Here is the differences between a DDR3 and a DDR4. DDR4 is a clear upgrade from every point-  

Notch PlacementOn the right sideClose to the middle
Transfer Rate(MT/s)800-18661866-3200
Power Consumption1.35V/1.5V1.2V
Peak Transfer Rate(MB/s)1492825600

To elaborate on the differences, first the PINs. As shown above, DDR4 has 288 pins, and DDR3 has 240 pins. 

A DDR3 slot in a motherboard is made to fit a DDR with 240 pins. The slot won’t be able to physically fit 44 extra pins. Software-wise, the DDR3 motherboard won’t recognize a DDR4. 

Every generation of DDR has a notch in different places. So for a DDR4 to correctly fit, it will require a designated DDR4 slot. Hence, the DDR3 motherboard can’t support DDR4.

Power, transfer rate-wise, the motherboard is unable to provide sufficient support to accommodate the high-level activity. Because the difference in peak transfer rate in DDR3 and DDR3 is doubled. 

Moreover, here are the advantages of switching to a DDR4, 

With, a DDR4, you will have- 

  • Less power consumption
  • Doubled peak transfer rate
  • Higher transfer rate

Therefore, it is really not possible to make a DDR3 motherboard work with DDR4 memory.

Now let’s see how a DDR3 motherboard and a DDR4 motherboard are different. 

The Differences Between DDR3 Motherboard And DDR4 Motherboard

Here is how the two generations of motherboards are different- 

AspectsDDR3 MotherboardDDR4 Motherboard
CPU SlotAM3, AM3+AM4
USBUSB 2.0USB 2.0, 3.0

So, in every way DDR3 motherboards are no longer compatible with today’s requirements and components.

Now, what is the solution to this compatibility issue? 

The solution is simple but not free of cost. You will have to buy a motherboard that supports DDR4 RAM with no issue. You might be worried that it will hurt your wallet.

Fret not, because we checked out several budget-friendly motherboards. These will not break your bank and deliver that top-notch performance that you want.

Take a look at these DDR4 motherboards in the list- 

DDR4 Motherboard ModelSpecsPrice
Asus ROG Strix B550- FDDR4 slotsSuitable for Gaming2.5 LANAM4 SocketCheck Price
MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWKDDR4 SlotsSuitable for GamingSATA 6GB/sAM4 SocketCheck Price
GIGABYTE B660M DS3HAffordable priceDDR Slots2.5 GbE LANCheck Price

The motherboards are the ones we really like from personal experience. If you are curious about processors, the Ryzen 5th Gen processor goes with ASUS motherboard.

What to Do With a DDR3 Motherboard?

It is now well established that DDR3 motherboards are no longer usable with today’s computers. 

And sadly, there’s nothing you can do with the old DDR3 motherboard. Either you can sell it at a really cheap price. Or you can wait for your turn to put it in the tech museum someday in the future. 

In short, the DDR3 motherboard is now utterly useless.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is The Difference Between DDR3 vs DDR4?

There are distinguished physical differences between a DDR3 and a DDR4. DDR3 has lighter and fewer components. DDR4 has more pins than DDR3, a total of 288 pins. The key notch of DDR3 and DDR4 are also in different places with different designs. Finally, DDR4 runs the computer faster than DDR3.

Is 8GB DDR4 RAM Good For Gaming?

The minimum amount of RAM for any gaming computer is 8GB. Most newly released games will run well with 8GB RAM. However, you might need to lower the graphics of certain games for speed and avoid lags. For optimal RAM use for gaming, close all the background apps running on your PC.

Do They Still Make DDR3 Motherboards?

Since 2014, all PC components-making companies have made DDR3 motherboards obsolete. They do not make any DDR3 motherboards anymore. DDR3 was released back in 2007 so were the compatible motherboards. Following the upgrades of other components, the DDR3 motherboards became obsolete with time.


When purchasing the components, make sure your motherboard and RAM are compatible with each other.

This concludes the article on can a ddr3 motherboard support ddr4. We hope the article has answered all your questions regarding DDR3 motherboards and DDR4.

Let us know which suggestion you like the best. 

Until next time, good luck with Your PC!

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